CNN Dusts Off Ancient Moral Panic Over Out Of Print Game That Was Banned A While Back

from the oh-come-on dept

Recently, we started receiving a whole bunch of submissions about a CNN story on the Japanese videogame Rapelay (in which part of the gameplay involves raping women). We ignored it because it's an old, old, old story, and we couldn't figure out why CNN suddenly took an interest in it. The game itself was released back in 2006 and has long been out of print. It got some headlines back in February of 2009 (over a year ago), when a UK publication noticed that some people were selling the game via Amazon. It was never Amazon itself selling the game, but some of the people who set up their own stores on the site. Either way, once the press reports came out, Amazon quickly pulled the game.

Still, as usually happens, there was a big moral panic, politicians made comments and threats and eventually Japanese officials banned the game, even though it was already out of print.

Story over, right? For no clear reason, CNN suddenly decided to bring it up as if it were a big deal again -- leading to all those submissions. However, as reader Chris Mikaitis, points out, the story keeps escalating to new levels of cluelessness. Days after the "original" late story, even after lots of people wondered why the hell CNN was bringing up such a dead story, CNN decided to do a second story on the game by the same reporter. At least, in that case, one of the people quoted scolds CNN for making a big story out of nothing:
"One of my concerns," begins Dr. Olson, "is that kids generally never hear about this stuff unless it gets this kind of publicity."
In other words, this was a dead game and a dead story, until CNN started fearmongering about it, making ridiculous statements like:
"Parents, we've got to warn you about this video game because your kids could get their hands on it."
CNN, we know that your ratings are in freefall, but manufacturing a totally ridiculous moral panic over an old game that is not in print any more, has been banned in the only country where it was released, and which was discussed way too much well over a year ago, isn't exactly the way to build either credibility or interest in your reporting.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Scoffs, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:25am

    lol

    Being in the UK I've got little need to trawl CNN but thanks to Techdirt I'm going to check that game out now :)

    It's a vicious circle indeed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:28am

    That's another thing that copy privilege laws can easily destroy if new laws are passed and new enforcement put in place, old games like those old NES games and other really old games like Atari games, etc... They can become a thing lost in history as well. Really sad.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:39am

      Re:

      and of course this is why some makers of new media want copywrong laws to last as long as they do. They don't want old media to compete with new media (ie: books, video games, movies, etc...), they want old media to go out of print and die so that they can more easily monopolize new media. It's really sad that a bunch of selfish thugs have managed to get such absurd laws passed.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:07am

        Re: Re:

        "they want old media to go out of print and die so that they can more easily monopolize new media."

        And when it's dead and forgotten, they can release it again and pretend it's new.

         

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    DS, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:32am

    But... but... I thought only Faux News did bad semi-fake manufactured moral outrage news stories?!??!!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:42am

      Re:

      No no no no... Faux News while proficient in that did not invent semi-fake manufactured moral outrage news stories... they mastered it after studying news outlets like CNN!

       

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:40am

    I hear CNN has a deeply researched story about the dampness of water that PROVES only professional journalists can make REAL news that will be released any time.

     

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    Anonymous, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:52am

    Been following this on 4chan. Even better than this story is the fact that they had a poll, "Should Japan ban sexually violent video games", and they resetting the poll twice because "no" was winning over yes, (no still won the third poll, which they took down last night). They also began stopping Japanese IPs from voting in the poll after their first reset.

     

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      Anonymous, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:57am

      Re:

      Hahaha.... This reminds me of a cartoon in the local paper after the Zimbabwe elections, of Mugabe standing over someone in the counting station yelling "Count it again. And keep counting until I win"...

       

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      Anonymous, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 3:58am

      Re:

      Hahaha.... This reminds me of a cartoon in the local paper after the Zimbabwe elections, of Mugabe standing over someone in the counting station yelling "Count it again. And keep counting until I win"...

       

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      ethorad (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 4:44am

      Re:

      Sounds like the way voting in the EU works. If you vote No to something, then they come back next year to make you vote again. And again. Until you get it right.

      See Ireland voting on the Lisbon Treaty, and the way Denmark is going to hold a second poll on joining the Euro - just as soon as they can get enough support for a yes. (And of course after the French and Dutch voters got the result "wrong", they weren't even trusted with a second attempt)

      Still waiting to hear of a country offering a new poll where the previous answer was yes.

      But maybe I'm just bitter at not getting to vote on the Lisbon treaty here in the UK ...

       

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    Rob, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 4:34am

    A correction

    "in which part of the gameplay involves raping women".

    I wouldn't call a 10 year old girl and a 16 year old girl "women". And yes, you rape both, along with their mother.


    Never played the game, never would, but I'd suggest a better moral panic would be about the pre-teen content, not because children might get their hands on it. Thanks anyway though, CNN, Saviours of the World.

     

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      R. Miles (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:13am

      Re: A correction

      "I wouldn't call a 10 year old girl and a 16 year old girl 'women'".
      I wouldn't call them people. They're characters in a game. How does one rape a damn cartoon character, anyway? Wouldn't the monitor glass alone stop the ability to touch the characters?

      Don't be stupid.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: A correction

        But if people do it in games they will do it in real life. Haven't you seen the roaming hoards of children killing mecha-demons with shotguns?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re: A correction

          Just yesterday I encountered a large barrier. It was too tall to jump over, so I grabbed my handy rocket launcher and fired it at my feet while jumping towards the barrier.

          Why didn't it work!?

           

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            BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A correction

            Where is my large well armored Demon with an axe as tall as he is that I can send in to fight my enemies whilst it burn them down throwing fire and shadow energy.

             

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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:24am

    japanese author reply

    a Manga artist replied, offended by CNN last time this came up. Why would they bother doing this twice?

    http://www.tsurupeta.info/content/open-letter-to-cnn-by-nogami-takeshi

    that was his reply...it was actually on CNN originally before he put it back on his own site. He basically explained the rapelay thing in quite reasonable terms.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    out of print

    How the hell to you make a digital good out of print? I thought the advocated of infinite goods would know better.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Sweet Jesus

    Is there a reason I feel so dejected when one of my submissions turns into a "Why are you retards submitting this to me?" story?

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Yellow Journalism

    I think these types of stories (as Mike points out indirectly, the story itself being the only real threat to public health/safety) are just testbeds used and directed by politicos to determine what the next "talking point" will be in the televised political "conversation".

    Makes me wonder what the real (invisible in the mass media) political conversation is about to be..,

    Every untold story of consequence has its O.J. Simpson counterpart.

     

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    Paul-G, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    A slow day maybe?

    Maybe the reporter saw thas and decided he could do better? Paul.

     

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    Paul-G, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re:A slow day maybe?

    ???? where did the link go?

    OK, try this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyoLON4sevo

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    "we couldn't figure out why CNN suddenly took an interest in it"

    A news agency has five possibilities to get stories.

    1. Find stories through research. (Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein)

    2. Find stories already published. (Huffington Post)

    3. Create situations which will give rise to stories. (Dateline's pedophile pieces.)

    4. Make up stories. (Jayson Blair)

    5. And last, but not least... dig up old stories and present them as new.

     

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    Adam (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Hey!

    Maybe they can dust off Custer's Revenge too! Or Mass Effect! This just in, someone somewhere, may do something outrageous!! Protect the children!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 11:24am

      Re: Hey!

      Mass Effect? You mean that video game, which only children play, that consisted entirely of alien orgies? Lesbian alien orgies?

      At least that's what I heard on Fox News. I ended up buying it and while I wasn't completely disappointed with the game there was a tiny part of me that was.

       

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    Xander C (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Unsettleing coninquesnces...

    Unfortunately, because of the Rapelay scandal, lots of really good JP artist that tend to dip into possible nude images have blocked their ports to Westerners, or have closed off their sites to avoid being the next one on the cross.

    This sword does go both ways.

     

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    Michael (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    CNN Buisness issues?

    Maybe instead of causing sensational moral panics CNN could actually do some /real/ investigative research and reporting.

    I want *accountability*, both from news outlets to the public, AND for the news outlets to do their *job* and actually hold politicians, lobbyists, corporations, and even people accountable for their actions or lack there of.

    I want *depth*, don't just report that something happened, tell us why it happened, what impact it has on others, and what sorts of reactions others can and are taking.

    I want *discussion*, not 140 character twit-headed sound-bytes, but real comments and summaries of comments compiled in to bin-counts that reflect actual public opinion.

     

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    asf, Nov 1st, 2010 @ 11:16am

    ur mom

    haha ur mother

     

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